Lafayette County Boys Tournament Recap
Lafayette County High School played host to the Lafayette County Tournament this past week (Jan. 2-6), two four-day long varsity basketball tournaments that featured Saint Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia High School and Santa Fe High School, among others in the eight-team field.
Lafayette County 62
Despite entering the tournament with a 7-3 record, the Concordia Orioles drew the four-seed in the I-70, creating a tough first round matchup with the Lafayette County Huskers. The Huskers used their home-field advantage to power by the Orioles 62-50.
Despite coming in to the matchup losers of four straight games, the Huskers came out of the gate hot, matching Concordia’s first quarter total of 16 points before winning the second quarter 18-12. Matt Gatewood (nine first-half points), Tad Deatherage (ten first-half points), and Cameron Kelly (six first-half points) — Concordia’s terrific junior trio — put in 25 of the team’s 28 halftime points, with senior Cameron Cooper’s second quarter three-pointer being the lone points scored by someone else in the half.
The loss set CHS up for a second-round matchup with Lexington, who was defeated handily by Wellington-Napoleon in the first round. That game was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
The victory put Laf Co in line for a second-round matchup against Wellington-Napoleon.
With the first-round loss, the Orioles fell to 7-5 (0-0 in the I-70 Conference) on the season. At the conclusion of this game, the Orioles were 1-4 in tournament games on the season (1-2 record in the I-70 Conference Tournament, 0-1 in the W-K Auto Shoot-Out, 0-1 thus far through the Lafayette County Tournament). Outside of tournament play, the team is a squeaky 6-0.
The victory was welcomed by Lafayette Count, as their record moved to 4-5 with the win.
Saint Paul 67
In their first round matchup, the one-seeded Saint Paul Saints took on the four-seeded Carrollton Trojans. The Saints got on the scoreboard early and often, jumping out to a ten-point halftime lead and holding on to win 67-54.
Junior Elijah Muehler went nuts in the first half, picking up 19 of his 21 points before the intermission. He was especially locked-in during the first quarter, putting in 15 of his team’s 20 points. The Saints defensive work wasn’t as impressive as their offensive production, as the normally well-rounded team allowed 11 three-pointers to splash home.
The victory moved Saint Paul into the semifinals, where a matchup with Santa Fe awaited them. Carrollton found themselves matched up with Knob Noster, as both teams lost their first round games.
Saint Paul improved to a perfect 8-0 with the victory (0-0 in the I-70 Conference).
The Trojans fell to 3-7 with the loss. They, just like their girls team, are 0-5 against I-70 opponents, proving to be a real thorn-in-the-side for the Trojans.
Santa Fe 38
Knob Noster 31
In their first round match, the Santa Fe Chiefs took on the Knob Noster Panthers. Despite an offensive off-night from star senior Andrew Edwards, the Chiefs were able to put Knob Noster away, winning the low-scoring affair 38-31.
As previously noted, Edwards — normally Santa Fe’s leading scorer — was held to just 12 points, with only six being recorded in the game’s first three quarters. The offensive slack was picked up by another senior, Devin Breland. Although scoreless in the first quarter, Breland was able to put five and six point quarters together in the middle frames, which was enough for the Chiefs until Edwards could get it going offensively. Edwards’ six fourth quarter points went for over half of the team’s combined 11 points in the fourth.
With the victory, Santa Fe advanced to the semifinal round, where they took on the Saint Paul Saints. In losing, Knob Noster slipped to the loser’s bracket, where a matchup with Carrollton awaited them.
Santa Fe moved to 7-3 with the victory (1-0 in the I-70 Conference), while Knob Noster fell to 3-7 with the loss. An earlier loss to Concordia marks their only crack at an I-70 team before this battle.
Saint Paul 67
Santa Fe 64 (OT)
In arguably the most exciting game of the entire Laf Co Tournament, the Santa Fe Chiefs and the Saint Paul Saints needed extra time to determine a winner. When the dust settled, it was the Saints who emerged victorious, sliding by the Chiefs 67-64.
Despite the final score, it was Santa Fe who provided the end-of-regulation fireworks to send this game into overtime when star senior Andrew Edwards connected with a buzzer beating three-pointer to tie the game up. The Chiefs had a chance to send the game into a second overtime with a 30-foot attempt, but it clanked off, ending the second comeback attempt.
The Saints got the job done behind an odd mix of team offense (all but one Saints player who made an appearance scored, of which one collected six points and three more scored nine) and the one-man army consisting of junior Elijah Muehler, who scored a game-high 26 points. Of those 26 points, eight came in overtime. Both he and senior Mark Allen connected on two three-point attempts (Allen: two-of-three from three; Muehler: two-of-five). Saints senior Jose Alicea II played a complete game, scoring nine points while pulling down six rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
For the Chiefs, it was Edwards (23 points) and junior Wyatt Sims (21 points) who did the majority of the offensive work, as the duo combined for 44 of the team’s 64 points. The only other Chief to break five points was senior Blake Schreiman, who finished with 11.
The Chiefs shot their free throws well, connecting on 15-21 attempts. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the Saints hit theirs as well, connecting on 20-30 attempts.
The victory keeps Saint Paul undefeated in both the regular season (9-0, 0-0 in conference) and the Laf Co Tournament, as their semifinal victory moved them on to the championship match, where a meeting with Wellington-Napoleon awaited them.
The loss dropped Santa Fe to a respectable 7-5 (1-0 in the I-70 Conference), although they were 6-1 after back-to-back three-game winning streaks. The loss put them in the third-place matchup with Higginsville, who was defeated in the other semifinal matchup by WellNap.
In their second-round matchup, the Concordia Orioles took on the Lexington Minutemen. The Orioles didn’t bring their A-game into the fourth quarter, and were defeated 60-45.
The game was competitive through three quarters, with Concordia jumping out to a 13-12 lead before a defensive quarter brought the game to a 22-20 CHS advantage.
It was in the second half that Lexington made their move, finishing the third quarter up 37-36 and winning the fourth quarter 23-9, bringing the final score to the 15-point deficit it finished with, despite the game being much closer through the first three quarters.
The loss kept consistent with Concordia’s tournament woes, as their overall record fell to 7-5 (0-0 in I-70 Conference) despite playing undefeated basketball in non-tournament games (6-0 in non-tournament games, 1- 5 in tournament games at the conclusion of this matchup). The loss set them up for a seventh-place finale against Knob Noster, who fell to Carrollton in the second round.
Lexington moved to 5-7 with the victory, snapping a four-game losing streak. Their victory led them to a fifth-place matchup with Carrollton.
Knob Noster 47
In their third and final game of the Laf Co Tournament, the Concordia Orioles matched up with the Knob Noster Panthers. Just like in their first go-around way back on Dec. 15, Concordia held on to win, pulling off the 51-47 victory.
Just like the tournament’s first two games, the Orioles got the majority of their scoring from juniors Matthew Gatewood (team-high 21 points) and Cameron Kelly (16 points). The Orioles only connected on two three-pointers, getting most of their scoring from inside the arc (19 two-point field goals).
Despite a 27-19 halftime lead and 40-31 lead at the end of the third, the Orioles came closer to letting the Panthers stage a comeback than they would have liked, getting outscored 16-11 in the fourth quarter while hitting only two of their six fourth-quarter free throw attempts.
The victory brings Concordia to 8-5 on the season (0-0 in the I-70 Conference).
All five of those losses came in tournament play, with only this game and an I-70 Conference Tournament game against Crest Ridge High School providing tournament victories.
For Knob Noster, the loss drops them to 3-10 on the season. After starting off with a loss, the Panthers won their next three games before starting the nine-game skid they’re currently on.
Lafayette County 43
Santa Fe 42
In their third and final game of the Laf Co Tournament, the Santa Fe Chiefs matched up with host Lafayette County. Despite using late-game heroics to send their semifinal game with Saint Paul into overtime, the Chiefs fell just short in regulation, losing 43-42.
Senior Andrew Edwards’ 20 points weren’t quite enough to get the Chiefs over the hump against the Huskers. He and junior Noah Blomberg combined for all five of the Chiefs three-pointers (Blomberg had three; all three came in the second half, two of which came in the fourth quarter).
The loss drops Santa Fe to 7-5 (1-0 in the I-70 Conference). With it, the Chiefs earned a fourth-place finish in the Laf Co Tournament, while Lafayette County finished third.
Lafayette County improved to 5-6 with the victory. The Huskers seem to perform better in tournament play than outside of it, as they have played to a 4-2 record in them and just 1-4 outside of them.
Saint Paul 47
After going undefeated through the Laf Co Tournament’s first two games, the Saint Paul Lutheran Saints found themselves paired up with fellow undefeated I-70 Conference member Wellington-Napoleon in the championship game — a rematch of the I-70 Conference Tournament’s championship game (SPLHS won it 62-52). In this matchup, however, the Saints got outscored early on and couldn’t get themselves all the way out of the hole, falling 56-47.
The first half did not go the Saints way, as they found themselves down 13-9 after the first quarter and 21-15 at the half despite holding WNHS to just eight second quarter points. Things turned around for the Saints in the second half, albeit not enough, as their increased offensive firepower (12 third quarter points, 21 fourth quarter points) were matched by 12 third quarter Tigers points and 23 final frame points.
The loss gives Saint Paul their first of the season, as their record now sits at 9-1 (0-0 in the I-70 Conference).
With the victory, Wellington earned the Lafayette County Tournament championship and improved their record to 9-3 (0-0 in the I-70 Conference).